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April 2021Vol. 22, No. 4April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Every April, the Children's Bureau observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month (NCAPM) to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit efforts and resources aimed at protecting children and strengthening families, and promote community involvement through activities that support the cause. The theme of this year's NCAPM initiative aligns with the theme of the 23rd National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), "Thriving Children and Families: Prevention With Purpose," and highlights what it can look like when prevention efforts are guided by the need to build protective factors and provide support to children and families.

This year's campaign features several enhancements to the NCAPM website, including a new design to help showcase its informative and engaging content. Those visiting the website can learn more about NCAPM and the role the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act plays in providing funding to states to support the prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child maltreatment. The website also provides current child maltreatment data, outlines the role protective factors and adverse childhood experiences have in prevention efforts, provides information about the 23rd NCCAN, and offers ways to help spread the word about NCAPM. 

One of the key highlights for this year's NCAPM website is the new 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide, which continues to be rooted in the protective factors but now brings to the forefront how families, neighborhoods, communities, and states are successfully using them to protect children, strengthen families, and promote well-being.

New additions and updates to the Resource Guide include the following:

  • Social-ecological model. This year's Resource Guide expands upon the tradition of addressing prevention from the perspective of a social-ecological model. This approach acknowledges that there are many factors beyond the individual child and family that affect caregivers' ability to nurture and protect their children.
  • New program examples. Throughout the guide, you will find an array of examples from numerous federal partners, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention state lead agencies, communities, and others achieving real change for children and families.
  • Conversation guides. New interactive guides replace the tip sheets found in previous editions of the Resource Guide and help users engage parents and caregivers in more personalized conversations about how they care for their children and themselves to create a stronger, more resilient family. Each guide is available in English and Spanish and targets one of the six protective factors. The tip sheets from previous guides will continue to be available on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.

The Resource Guide was developed through a partnership between the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect within the Children's Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. The information and resources available in the Resource Guide can be used all year to help professionals and families prevent maltreatment and work toward child and family well-being. For more information on NCAPM, or to view or order a copy of the Resource Guide, visit the NCAPM website.